Animal Crossing: The Latest In-Game Controversy Is About… Villager Gifts?!

Some Animal Crossing: New Horizons players are angry they're paying in-game currency for villagers who have been given clothing as gifts.

Thanks to the Dodo Airlines feature in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, a booming black market for in-game trading has grown exponentially since Nintendo released the title in March. Players trade furniture, DIYS, villagers, materials, flowers, and NPC visits for in-game currency -- or sometimes, real money. However, several controversies have cropped up among New Horizons traders. The latest involves villager gifts.

There are several cons to trading with strangers online, namely the potential for being scammed. Some players have begun complaining about a new type of "scam," however, which actually involves a core mechanic of the game.

To develop deeper relationships with villagers in New Horizons, players need to gift them furniture and clothing. To reach maximum friendship and receive a highly-coveted framed villager photo, players need to give several presents. For many players, this is the point at which they feel content letting a villager move away from their island.

At this point, they may put an offering on the Animal Crossing black market, for Bells or Nook Miles Tickets -- the latter can be used to hunt for someone new.

"Gifted" villagers maintain any clothing they've been given, as well as the catchphrase given to them by the player. "Ungifted" villagers, on the other hand, are still in their "original" form -- they are the same as one would get from inviting a camper via Amiibo or going island-hopping.

New Horizons traders on the receiving end are mad that they’re receiving gifted villagers when they expect one who's ungifted. Some players believe that because these villagers have been gifted, it ruins their original aesthetic or style.

When posting a villager on a trading server, the default title is just the villager’s name. Traders have to add "gifted" or "ungifted" as an extra tag, which some of them may miss or choose not to do. Unfortunately, this comes down to being mostly a communication issue -- both the trader with the villager and the trader who wants to adopt should clarify before committing to an exchange. Traders can also refine their searches when hunting for ungifted villagers.

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